With the third highest number of monthly active users, Twitter is a social networking platform that allows users to “tweet” messages of 140 characters or less. The platform also permits the posting of pictures and videos. Users may “tag” a contact in a post by incorporating his/her Twitter “handle”—i.e., screen name. This process involves using the “at” sign (@) followed by the contact or company handle, like Facebook’s tagging structure. Example: The Integrated Marketing Association twitter handle is @iMarketingAssnThere are a variety of options for users to interact with posts they see on their feeds, from “retweeting” to “quote tweeting.” A quote tweet simply includes a retweet with a comment. Twitter users build their profiles by following friends, influencers, and brands.
As an element of a robust social media marketing strategy, marketing on Twitter is a popular way for brands to engage with consumers. Part of Twitter’s power as a marketing tool rests with the “hashtag”—i.e., the tool that organizes content and conversations. Hashtags show users what is “trending” on the social platform by rank. Many companies will generate unique hashtags for marketing campaigns, applying them on every consumer touch point for maximum reach. You will also notice conferences use hashtags to help people who couldn’t attend the event track the content and conversations being shared at the event.
Like other social platforms, Twitter allows brands to pay for advertisements called “Twitter ads.” With Twitter ads, companies can target specific audiences and track the success of their campaigns in real time.
Many brands have turned to social platforms like Twitter to reach out in unconventional, personal ways, from addressing individual customer service issues to responding to newsworthy events. It’s not uncommon for a business today—especially one targeting millennials—to host live tweeting events or “Twitter parties” to release new information, conduct giveaways, or otherwise generate a buzz around the business.
Many marketers use analytics tools to help analyze and visualize their impact and reach on twitter vs their competitors. You can also use twitter analytics to identify: Hot topics, Influencers in your industry, the best time of day to tweet, ideal keywords and hashtags to use, the number of followers, as well as brand sentiment.
IMA has assembled a list of social media marketing tools on Martec Showcase to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts.